Archive for September, 2011
Makes 2 dozen
- 3 egg whites
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 cup low fat buttermilk
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- ½ stick butter
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup Cointreau
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Pre-heat oven to 375°.
Start with the cake mix. Beat the egg whites in a standing mixer until stiff peaks form. Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl and set aside.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder in a large bowl and set aside as well.
Cream the sugar and butter on medium speed in the bowl of a standing mixer fixed with a batter attachment. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, orange zest and buttermilk and continue to mix until smooth. Slowly add the flour mixture until well incorporated. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand and gently fold in the egg whites. Fill cupcakes holders half way with the batter and place in a cupcake pan. Transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and from the pan and let cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling make the frosting. Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Stir in the cream and bring to a slight simmer. Stir in the chocolate and continue to stir until fully melted and incorporated into the cream. Add the sugar and Cointreau and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from the heat. Let cool for 10 minutes before using a spoon or an icing knife to evenly layer the frosting on top of the cupcakes.
Right before serving the cupcakes make the whipped cream. Whip the cream on high in a standing mixer until peaks form. Fold in the sugar and place a dollop onto each cupcake.
- 4 cups lima beans
- ½ cup chopped and pitted kalamata olives
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 4 ounces buffalo mozzarella, roughly chopped
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Pre-heat oven to 425°.
Cook lima beans according to instructions on package. Drain and while still hot transfer the beans to a food processor and pulse until chunky but not fully pureed. Remove the chopped beans from the food processor and spoon into a bowl. Stir in the olives, capers, mozzarella, parmesan and salt. Continue to stir until the cheeses have mostly melted. Transfer to a single baking dish or individual ramekins and place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden browned on the top. Let cool for a minute or two before serving.
- 1 LB large scallops, pat dry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 finely chopped shallot
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup half and half
- Juice from 5 key limes
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon corn starch
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start with the cream. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the half and half, lime juice and ginger. Bring to a slight boil, reduce the heat to low. Ladle a small amount of the cream mixture into a bowl and whisk in the corn starch. Whisk the mixture back into the saucepan and continue to stir until cream thickens. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until smoking. Add the shallot and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Lightly salt the scallops on each side and add to the sauté pan. Cook for 2 minutes per side or until nicely browned on each side. Remove from the heat and serve with a drizzle of the cream.
Last year around this time my husband had a rare mid-week day off from work so we took an impromptu trip to Michigan wine country. The wine cannot compete with Napa, but we were pleasantly surprised by the charm and quaintness of the area. We stopped off at one vineyard that served warm spiced wine and I was hooked. We bought up a few bottles of wine and the accompanying spice packets. A few months later we were ready to debut this cozy and seasonal wine on Thanksgiving Day only to find that the spice packets had mysteriously disappeared from my kitchen. I will likely find them in a few years in an entirely illogical spot. Determined to serve spiced wine on that day, I threw together my own spice pouch and the resulting wine was fantastically flavorful and homey.
- 2 bottles red wine
- 2 cinnamon sticks broken into halves
- 6 cloves
- 1 fresh orange peel
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- Cheese cloth
Cut a 6” square of cheese cloth and place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange peel and ginger in the middle of the square. Pull the corners of the cheese cloth together and use the kitchen twine to secure a tight pouch around the ingredients. Place the spice pouch in a crock pot along with the wine. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours, string every 20 minutes. Ladle the wine into cups or mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks.
Fall is in the air and in my kitchen. This quick and easy appetizer is perfect for an autumn dinner party or in my case a warm snack on a gloomy day.
- 3 pears, cored and sliced in halves
- 1.5 cup merlot red wine
- ½ cup sugar
- Juice from one lemon
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 French Baguette, cut into ¼” thick slices
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 3 tablespoons crème fraiche
- Dash of kosher or finishing salt (I use a finishing salt called Das…love it)
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
In a large size saucepan bring the wine, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon to a boil. Add the pear halves and reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes per side.
Pre-heat oven broiler.
While the pears are cooking, combine the goat cheese and crème fraiche in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Spread the cheese mixture on each piece of bread. Sprinkle a touch of salt on top of the cheese and transfer to the oven on the top self. Broil for just a few minutes- until the cheese is bubbly and the edges of the bread are golden brown. Place the bread on a serving dish and sprinkle with the chopped basil.
Once the pears are done transfer to a cutting board and slice into 1/4” slices. Place two slices of pear on each piece of bread. Continue to cook the remaining wine over high heat until thickened- about 4 minutes. Drizzle the wine reduction over the bruschetta and serve.
We are frequent visitors of Scooter’s Frozen Custard shop. I would categorize it as the number one treat spot in Chicago. Yesterday I was on the cusp of making my sister-in-law’s to die for sugar cookies when I decided to combine my favorite frozen treat with my favorite cookies into a pie. So, I visited Scooter’s yesterday afternoon and stocked up on a few pints. The visual was slightly unfortunate- a clearly pregnant woman standing in line with both arms filled with pints of frozen custard. My excuse- Scooters is closed during the winter so I needed enough to sustain us through those sad months and of course to make this pie. If you are not as lucky as us Chicagoans to have Scooter’s, feel free to use your favorite ice cream as a substitute.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1.5 sticks room temperature butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups vanilla custard or vanilla ice cream
- 1 cup fresh blueberries or your seasonal favorite
In a large bowl combine the flour and salt.
Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed in a standing mixer fixed with a batter attachment. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Transfer the dough to a sheet of wax paper and roll into a smooth ball. Wrap the dough with the wax paper and refrigerate for one hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 325°.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out to ¼” thickness on a floured surface. Carefully transfer the dough to a pie dish. Trim away the dough that is hanging over the edges so that the dough is flush with the edges of the pan. Evenly distribute a handful of baking weights on top of the crust. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 30 minutes. Roll out the excess dough and cut with cookie cutters. Bake for 12 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
Remove the custard or ice cream from the freezer and let melt just enough so that you are able to easily mix it with the berries. Spoon the custard mixture into the pie crust. Smooth out so that the filling is flush with the edges of the crust. Cover with cellophane and place in the freezer. Freeze for two hours before slicing and serving.
My husband rarely braves the grocery store with me. I say brave because he would likely rather have his toe nails pulled than go to the store. Yesterday was an expectation and his company proved quite useful. While browsing the meat department he asked that I make a beef teriyaki with quinoa. The combination was fantastic especially with a few added ingredients to spice up the quinoa. While I was the cook, the culinary credit here goes to Justin.
- 1.5 LB beef tenderloin, cut into ½” cubes
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
- 3 cups diced shitake mushrooms
- ½ cup salted soy nuts
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
Stir together the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, chili sauce and honey in a medium sized bowl. Add the meat cubes and thoroughly coat with the marinade. Cover, refrigerate and let marinate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the quinoa. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium- high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the nuts and continue to cook for 1 minute. Fold in the quinoa, salt and coconut milk. Remove from the heat.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator. Heat the olive oil in a wok over high heat. Add the meat using a slotted spoon to remove excess marinade. Brown the meat on both sides then add one cup of the marinade. Cook until the marinade thickens and the meat is caramelized on the outside- about 10 minutes. Serve the beef atop the quinoa and enjoy.
- 1 cup fresh huckleberries
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Maple syrup for serving
Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium size bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs together with the sugar until smooth. Whisk in the milk, whipping cream, sour cream and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until a smooth batter forms. Gently fold in the huckleberries.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with butter and ladle three tablespoon of batter per pancake onto the skillet. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes, then flip with a spatula and cook until golden brown on the other side. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!